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Identifying the Independent Sources of Consumption Variation

  • Matteo Barigozzi
  • Alessio Moneta

By representing a system of budget shares as an approximate factor model we determine its rank, i.e. the number of common functional forms, or factors and we estimate a base of the factor space by means of approximate principal components. We assume that the extracted factors span the same space of basic Engel curves representing the fundamental forces driving consumers' behaviour. We identify and estimate these curves by imposing statistical independence and by studying their dependence on total expenditure using local linear regressions. We prove consistency of the estimates. Using data from the U.K. Family Expenditure Survey from 1968 to 2006, we find evidence of three common factors which are identified as decreasing, increasing and almost constant Engel curves. The household consumption behaviour is therefore driven by three factors respectively related to necessities (e.g. food), luxuries (e.g. vehicles), and goods to which is allocated the same percentage of total budget both by rich and poor households (e.g. housing).

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Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2012/16.

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Date of creation: 18 Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2012/16
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  1. Gourieroux Christian & Monfort Alain & Trognon A, 1981. "Pseudo maximum likelihood methods : theory," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8129, CEPREMAP.
  2. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
  3. Lewbel, Arthur, 1991. "The Rank of Demand Systems: Theory and Nonparametric Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 711-30, May.
  4. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1504, Econometric Society.
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  10. Alessi, Lucia & Barigozzi, Matteo & Capasso, Marco, 2010. "Improved penalization for determining the number of factors in approximate factor models," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(23-24), pages 1806-1813, December.
  11. Giorgio Fagiolo & Lucia Alessi & Matteo Barigozzi & Marco Capasso, 2007. "On the distributional properties of household consumption expenditures. The case of Italy," LEM Papers Series 2007/24, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  12. Foellmi, Reto & Zweimüller, Josef, 2008. "Structural change, Engel's consumption cycles and Kaldor's facts of economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 1317-1328, October.
  13. Andreas Chai & Alessio Moneta, 2010. "Retrospectives: Engel Curves," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 225-40, Winter.
  14. Jean-Marc Robin & Stéphane Bonhomme, 2009. "Consistent Noisy Independent Component Analysis," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompq, Sciences Po.
  15. R. Aversi & G. Dosi & G. Fagiolo & M. Meacci & C. Olivetti, 1997. "Demand Dynamics With Socially Evolving Preferences," Working Papers ir97081, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
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